Not one to miss an opportunity to bore the audience with his trademark wordy and incoherent speeches, Governor Obaseki recently wheeled out his forgotten MEGA agenda from the storeroom where it had been gathering dust. He needed soundbites for an address to mark the 30th anniversary of Edo State.

When he finally got round to addressing the people, taking a rare break from his prolific streak as a notable Facebook influencer, Mr. Obaseki announced his administration’s plan to “commence discussions” with Delta State to set up a Bendel Commission. The Commission, according to the governor, would foster mutual cooperation on security, economy, and others.

Everyone can get behind a plan to facilitate regional cooperation and harness its obvious benefits. The problem with Mr. Obaseki’s plan, however, is that we have heard the story before. He sang the same song two years ago in 2019, with a press release that said assertively that, in collaboration with his colleague in Delta State, he was “putting finishing touches” to the Bendel Development Commission.

The fact that Mr. Obaseki is back to tell the people discussions are only about to commence on a Commission he claimed, two years ago, was receiving finishing touches reveals his brazen and unrepentant embrace of falsehood, and captures succinctly the backward movement that summarizes his six-year tenure as the Governor of the state.

Only a Governor like Mr. Obaseki can go from putting finishing touches to a plan to starting discussions anew within two years – all without a single explanation.

The obvious truth is that Mr. Obaseki had forgotten completely about the Bendel Development Commission, just like his so-called MEGA agenda, and merely read out a script placed in front of him by one of the skeletal aides he runs the state with, having refused to form a cabinet. 

Consuming his attention are other important personal businesses such as managing his victory in the internal “coup” he sponsored in the Edo PDP, and issuing threats to the people that their rights as freeborn citizens will be withdrawn if they do not, somehow, present themselves for vaccines that are not available statewide.

Mr. Obaseki gets up to these absurdities in part because he banks on a memory lapse on the part of the public. Perhaps this is why he floods the people with a flurry of empty and meaningless media messages, complete with glossy images of him sashaying up and down the state, up to nothing of any benefit to anyone else other than himself.

The only problem with this strategy is that the people do not need to parse his many releases or sit through his boring speeches to learn his comprehensive failure. The evidence is all around them. He is a Governor without legacy; one who promises a lot but ultimately does nothing. 

Nearing the end, Obaseki will do more of rehashing past promises he failed to implement and present them as new, hoping no one notices. That alongside rebranding and claiming the successes of his predecessor as his. He has unraveled badly and is now counting down the clock. Some might say he has given up on ever meeting even the lowest of expectations. 

Edo people will have to make do with an active Facebook page and intermittent speeches that lull and depress on special occasions. It is all this man can afford.

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